This is Guns and
What I think is important is that, de facto, Turkey is no longer
part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. You may have
noticed that the reaction from Washington has been dead silence
and the media as well.
The repercussions on
the military-industrial complex are dramatic, and whatever
happens, Turkey de facto is out of NATO.
And with Turkey's withdrawal from NATO, inevitably it will have
repercussions, and other member states might choose to withdraw
from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
I'm Bonnie Faulkner. Today on Guns and Butter, Michel
Today's show: US
Foreign Policy in Shambles - NATO and the Middle East. Michel
Chossudovsky is an economist and the Founder, Director and
Editor of the Center for Research on Globalization, based in
He is the author of
eleven books, including The Globalization of Poverty and the New
World Order, War and Globalization: The Truth Behind September
Eleventh, America's War on Terrorismand The Globalization of
War, America's Long War Against Humanity.
Today we discuss the
recent clash with Iran in the Persian Gulf, Iran as a military
power, the breakup of the Gulf Cooperation Council, the flop of
the proposed Middle East Strategic Alliance, also known as the
Arab NATO, the coup d'état again Turkish President Erdogan, and
the geopolitical realignment of the Middle East and its
repercussions on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Bonnie Faulkner (BF): Michel Chossudovsky, welcome.
Michel Chossudovsky (MC): Good morning. Delighted to be
on the program.
BF: In June, Iran shot down an unmanned US drone that
Iran claimed was in its air space. This was followed by threats
from President Trump. Two days later, Trump announced that US
jets were headed towards targets in Iran, but that he called off
the strike 10 minutes before engagement. What do you make of
this bizarre statement?
MC: Well, that statement is full of contradictions and,
in fact, the media coverage of that event seems to have excluded
one very important element, namely that the Al Udeid air force
base in Qatar from which these air raids would have been
launched, and which also constitutes the forward headquarters of
US Central Command, happens to be in a country which is the
closest ally of the Islamic Republic of Iran, namely Qatar.
Qatar and Iran share the largest maritime natural gas base in
the world. From an economic and energy point of view it's
absolutely strategic. They are allies.
But bear in mind, US Central Command headquarters confirmed the
deployment of US Air Force F22 stealth fighters, following
Trump's statement, out of Qatar. They also made a statement to
the effect that this was to defend American forces and interests
in the region.
Now, how is it that US foreign policy architects didn't take the
trouble to verify that this particular military base, which is
technically the property of Qatar, which is an emirate, and
which is most probably one of the largest air force operations
on the planet - I'm quoting The Washington Times.
Now, US Central Command's forward Middle East headquarters is
located in enemy territory. Now, either people are absolutely
stupid in the State Department or the Pentagon or they simply
know well in advance that they can't do this. That location is
not appropriate because it's a country which is swarming with
Iranian business people, security personnel, the Russians and
the Chinese are there.
Qatar is no longer under the helm of
Saudi Arabia. It has declared its alliance with Iran. And then,
ironically, the Atlantic Council, which is a think tank closely
tied both to the Pentagon and NATO, has confirmed that Qatar is
now firmly allied with both Iran and Turkey.
You can't really go
around that. So what is it? Sloppy military planning, sloppy US
foreign policy, sloppy intelligence?
I personally believe that there was never a plan to launch a war
against Iran from that forward US Central Command headquarters
in enemy territory. It's an impossibility. But there are other
elements beside that.
There's the whole structure of US military
alliances which is in such a mess that a conventional theater
war against Iran is virtually impossible.
BF: In your most recent article, A Major Conventional War
Against Iran Is an Impossibility; Crisis Within the US Command
Structure, you explore two crucial areas that make a US attack
on Iran not a winning strategy, i.e., Iran's military power and
the evolving structure of military alliances.
First of all, how
do you assess Iran as a military power?
MC: Iran has advanced capabilities and it also has very
large ground forces. It's a country of 90 million people. We're
not dealing with an Iraq 2003 situation where the country had
already been destroyed.
We're dealing with a country which has
advanced capabilities, in many regards comparable to those of
Turkey, and which has some very powerful allies. Iran is allied
with Russia; we know that. Now, I don't think that Russia will
intervene, but the S-400 which has recently been delivered to
Turkey is now slated to be delivered to Iran.
This is also
something which military analysts and the Western media failed
If you go back to 2003, when Donald Rumsfeld formulated a
blitzkrieg directed against the Islamic Republic of Iran - well,
there was a plan back in 2003 in the wake of the Iraq war and
going on to 2005, and they had what they called a plan of
encirclement of Iran.
Now, when they say encirclement of Iran,
that means that neighboring countries are proxies of the United
States. They will take orders, they're linked to NATO and so on.
But even then, the national security advice was to postpone that
war. The conditions for waging the war in 2003-2005 were there
and they favored the United States. But even then they hesitated
precisely because Iran had missile capabilities, extensive
ground forces, and despite the encirclement they postponed that
There are various scenarios which were
But today, let's look at the geography or the geopolitics of
that region. Turkey has a border with Iran and Turkey is the
heavyweight in NATO. Turkey now has excellent relations with
neighboring Iran, it's not a formal military alliance but they
are on very good terms. And Turkey now has signified to the
United States, you won't be able to wage a war against Iran from
Turkish territory, either in terms of ground forces or air
But if you look at the map, there's not a single country there
on which the United States can rely to help them, including
Iraq. The Iraqi government has said no, we will not allow for
the movement of US forces in Iraq towards the Iranian border.
Now, the other pivot there is Pakistan. As we recall some
several years back Pakistan was the staunch ally of the United
States. It's no longer the staunch ally of the United States;
it's the staunch ally of China. The United States will not be
able to rely on Pakistan in a war directed against Iran.
They've lost Pakistan. Pakistan is no longer a military ally.
Then you have several of the former Soviet republics, which had
partnership agreements with NATO, good bilateral relations with
the United States. I'm thinking of Azerbaijan. Well, just last
December, Iran and Azerbaijan signed military cooperation
agreements, and that means that the United States cannot rely on
Similarly, it can't rely on Turkmenistan. It's
impossible to wage a war out of Afghanistan because the Taliban
are occupying a large part of the national territory. So a
ground war is an impossibility and a traditional air war, I
think, is also an impossibility because there are questions of
And we know that the United States relies heavily on
its allies to do the dirty work.
Then, of course, there's Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, and
the Gulf Cooperation Council, the GCC, is split down the middle
with Qatar, Oman and Kuwait in favor of normalizing relations
with Iran, and in the case of Qatar it goes beyond that.
the United States rely on Kuwait and Oman? In no way.
Oman has very good relations with Iran on the one hand, and it
also controls the entry to the Strait of Hormuz from the Gulf of
Oman into the Persian Gulf. If you look at the geography, well,
of course, Pakistan controls part of the Arabian Sea, and if you
look at naval access to US military facilities in the Persian
Gulf it's not an easy task; you still have to go in and out, and
you're going in and out either through Iranian territorial
waters or through those of Oman.
And now with the split down the middle of that Gulf Cooperation
Council, you have several of those countries, emirates, which
are strategically favoring Iran instead of the United States.
And there's a whole geopolitical dimension to that, because for
instance the United States has military bases in Kuwait, it has
military bases in Bahrain and then, of course, as I mentioned
earlier it has military bases in Qatar, which is aligned with
So it's very difficult for them to wage a naval
operation when the Gulf Cooperation Council, which of course is
a US project initially, is in crisis.
Another element is that just about a couple of months back, the
United States had sponsored what was called the Arab NATO, it
was a middle East strategic alliance and it was supposed to be
inaugurated in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It really never got off the
ground because this was a project to integrate the Gulf
Cooperation Council with two other countries, which were Jordan
and Egypt. Now, Egypt decided to drop out and, in fact, they
boycotted this meeting, which was held in Riyadh and Trump was
That was his second visit to Saudi Arabia. Earlier he had
gone in 2017. And in 2017 they actually launched the Arab NATO
and what it actually resulted in was the rupture of the Gulf
Cooperation Council and now this Arab NATO virtually is defunct;
it's not working.
There's no body of countries, maybe with the
exception of the Emirates and Saudi Arabia, that whole region
now is shifting. At least either it's becoming neutral and
normalizing its relations with Iran or it's in the case of
Qatar, it's an actual ally of Iran.
So it's a big mess. The structure of alliances is disrupted, and
then the question is, how do you wage a war if you don't have
BF: With regard to the evolving structure of military
alliances, in May of 2017 the Gulf Cooperation Council - that is
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and
Oman - split apart.
MC: This is a very complex issue. There was a meeting
which took place in Riyadh when Trump first came to Riyadh. I
think it was on the 21st of May. On the 21st of May 2017 a US
Islamic Summit took place.
Again, the media never really looks
at the chronology of these important events and
inter-relationships. But what happened on the 21st of May 2017
with the approval of US officials was the endorsement of a
proposed Middle East Strategic Alliance, which was composed of
Egypt, Jordan, plus the six nations of the GCC, namely Saudi
Arabia, the UAE, the Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, and Oman.
So that all in all that Arab NATO was supposed to be an alliance
of eight countries, which would then have the mandate, and that
mandate was explicit. It was essentially to confront Iran or to
confront Iranian influence in the Middle East.
Now, what happened is that two days later, on May 23, 2017 Saudi
Arabia ordered a blockade and embargo of Qatar, following
alleged statements that the emir of Qatar was supporting Iran,
and I think that statement is correct.
Qatar was aligning itself
with Iran and essentially what what happend at the meeting on
May 21st - Saudi Arabia and the US decided to exclude
Qatar from the Arab NATO.
I think that was the scenario. We go ahead with Arab NATO
ceremoniously adopted the project on the 21st of May knowing
that one of the member states of the GCC, namely Qatar was
sleeping with the enemy, and then two days later embargo.
an act of war. It was an embargo cutting off of borders, cutting
of naval and sea routes and essentially isolating Qatar.
But what happened was not what they wanted to happen. What they
wanted was to go from GCC with six member states to GCC with
five member states and what happened is that this triggered a
crisis within the GCC, with Kuwait and Oman siding with Qatar so
that the GCC was split down the middle.
And as a consequence,
the Arab NATO, which was conceived on the 21st of May with eight
members, went down to five and then subsequently what happened
is that Egypt withdrew and essentially you've only got about
four countries now, which are part of the core of that Arab
NATO, which are essentially Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Bahrain
There are four countries which are firmly behind it.
Again, that's a flop; in other words, the United States, the
Trump administration, has virtually lost its GCC alliance in the
Middle East. And not only that; it has its Central Command
headquarter forward base in enemy territory.
I give them a
C-minus as far as foreign policy is concerned.
BF: Since Qatar and Iran have joint ownership of the
world's largest maritime gas fields, they needed to be in
alliance with one another, it seems to me.
What do you think was
behind Saudi Arabia's blockade of Qatar? Did Saudi Arabia want
the Maritime gas fields or was it simply that Saudi Arabia
insisted on the isolation of Iran?
MC: I think the main objective was to exclude Qatar from
Arab NATO and create conditions, perhaps divisions within Qatar.
I think the first short-run objective was that.
that one of the members of the GCC was sleeping with the enemy
and they also indicated very firmly, you can come back into the
GCC and so on and resolve relations, but then you have to really
give up your relationship with Iran, which they'll never do.
Because first of all that partnership in the North gas fields,
it's joint ownership, north and south gas fields. It has a
territorial division, with regard to Maritime rights, but this
is a joint venture. It's ownership is common to the two
countries and that's very important.
So for them to abandon
that, particularly after the embargo, is very unlikely right
I've been to Qatar several times since the May 17th occurrence
and I can say, first of all, public opinion is very anti-Saudi,
even though they have proximity in cultural terms and they have
Qataris living in Saudi Arabia.
But the way this was handled was
so brutal it's unlikely that Qatar will ever go back into an
alliance with Saudi Arabia.
So it's Saudi Arabia which is being isolated; it's not Qatar and
it's certainly not Iran. Iran is on friendly terms with several
of America's staunch allies. It has gained Qatar. It has also
gained Oman and Kuwait, not to say that these are countries
which are allied strategically with Iran but they entertain good
And then if you look at it more broadly, Iran has
good relations with Azerbaijan, it has good relations with
Turkey, it has good relations with Iraq and, of course, it has
excellent relations with Pakistan. And that's important because
of the issue of Balochistan, where there's a separatist
The Balochs are both in Iran and in Pakistan. Also,
there's been a shift and it's very much due to the fact that the
two governments are now collaborating.
So there we are. And Egypt, of course, which is a powerful
country in the Middle East, has signified that it will not join
an alliance which is directed against Iran. Not to say that the
two countries have good relations, but they have normal
relations, Iran and Egypt.
But Egypt is not going to join a US
project directed against Iran.
BF: Since the Al Udeid base near Doha (image below),
Qatar is America's largest military base in the Middle East, why
would the US or President Trump support a land, air and sea
blockade of Qatar?
MC: Well, de facto they're supporting the land, air and
sea blockade because they're supporting Saudi Arabia, but
there's still trade relations and there's a military cooperation
agreement. In fact, the US attitude is rather weird, because
they have signed a new military cooperation agreement with Qatar
and they are acting as if nothing has happened.
They have signed
with Qatar a bilateral agreement, but they have not raised the
fact that Qatar is sleeping with the enemy or has relations.
They haven't imposed any kind of conditions on Qatar with regard
to their relations with Iran.
And Trump met the emir of Qatar at
the United Nations General Assembly two years ago in October
You see it's a very contradictory type of relationship. They
don't want to say, we're moving out of Qatar and putting our
central command headquarters somewhere else; they're not
intimating that they're doing that. Some of the command
structures have been moved, inevitably, and again, central
command operates out of Florida, but the forward base in the
Middle East is crucial.
The thing is, I think that Washington does not want to take on
decisions of a controversial nature which would more or less
reveal that Qatar is playing a double role.
It's hosting a US
military facility and at the same time it has very good
relations with the enemy. So that's the situation.
And mind you that kind of attitude is unfolding with regard to
Turkey's recent acquisition of the S-400 air defense system from
Russia, which de facto means that Russia - we've known this for
years, but Russia and Turkey are now military allies because the
air defense system requires military cooperation at a high
You're not just selling equipment; you are cooperating in
terms of training, you are consulting one another, there's a
whole geopolitics behind it and what I think is important there
is that de facto as of January 12th, Turkey is no longer part of
the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Now, you may have noticed that the reaction from Washington has
been dead silence and the media as well.
are sanctions if you do it and we will exclude you from the F-35
jet fighter program, which is a NATO program."
on the military-industrial complex are dramatic, because we're
seeing now the competition between Russia and the United States
with regard to the sale of weapons, so it's billion and billions
of dollars of revenue which are at stake.
But at the moment, I don't think the United States is saying,
"Turkey, get the hell out of NATO."
They're not going to say
that, but what is possible is that Turkey will say,
withdrawing from NATO," and whatever happens, Turkey de facto is
out of NATO.
Now, if let's say more from a narrative point of
view and public relations we still want Turkey to stay in NATO,
not to disrupt, but eventually that's going to come up. And with
Turkey's withdrawal from NATO inevitably it will have
repercussions and other member states might choose to withdraw
from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It's what we call
NATO exit, not to be confused with Brexit.
BF: You write that the US, Israel, Turkey triple alliance
is now a new triple entente between Turkey, Iran and Russia.
This sounds like a very major shift in geopolitical alliances,
which you've just been starting to describe.
What were the major
forces driving this shift?
MC: Back in
the '90s there was an alliance between Israel and Turkey.
a bilateral alliance, and it was a very close alliance between
Turkey and Israel. Now, without going into the details, that
alliance collapsed, and it also collapsed in relation to the
actions of Israel against the Palestinian solidarity movement,
and remember the Mavi Marmara boat, which was attacked by IDF
But it would appear that that alliance is dead, the
bilateral relationship between Israel and Turkey.
And the bilateral relationship between the United States and
Turkey is still there, but it's also in a crisis situation, and
the tripartite alliance Israel/Turkey/US or US/Israel/Turkey was
really based on two separate bilateral agreements.
certainly relevant now that that alliance between Turkey and
Israel was very crucial inasmuch as it was also directed against
Syria. It was directed against Syria and it was directed against
Iran, and there was exchange of intelligence, so on and so
So there we have another element.
Let's say we're talking about a war on Iran, of course, Israel
is obviously a major partner of the United States and NATO in
that project. But there's another element in US-Israeli
relations. In effect Israel also has an unspoken and unofficial
alliance with the Russian Federation, and we've seen this
evolving, where Netanyahu has a personal relationship with
I'm not passing any judgments; this is simply very
factual. We have to understand they have a close personal
relationship. We must also understand that many of the senior
officers of the armed forces are from the former Soviet Union;
they have families in the Russian Federation.
So that there's a
tacit bilateral relationship between Israel and Russia which has
developed over a number of years, which means that if there's
any kind of military involvement of Israel directed against
Iran, which is an ally of Russia, there may be consultations to
There may be consultations at that very high level
of the military and intelligence establishment of those two
And now, just a few weeks back, the national security
advisors of the US, Israel and Russia met in Jerusalem. Despite
all the conflict which exists between US and Russia, the
National Security Advisors had friendly conversations. But I
think what was more important were the friendly conversations
between Israel and Russia.
So again, alliances historically are built between sovereign
countries, but there is what we would describe as cross-cutting
coalitions. Cross-cutting coalitions means that you are allied
with countries which are allied with your enemies.
So Russia has
a cross-cutting coalition with Israel and Israel has an alliance
with the United States and with NATO. In other words, the
Russian foreign policy has been extremely astute in building
these alliances, and so has China for that matter.
BF: You have written that Israel and Turkey were close
partners with the US in planned aerial attacks on Iran since
If Turkey is now de facto exiting NATO and this alliance
between Turkey and Israel is defunct then it seems that these
2005 plans to attack Iran are also defunct.
MC: They are absolutely defunct; yes, they are.
not going to participate in any kind of aerial attacks on Iran
because it has a military cooperation agreement with Iran. It's
as simple as that. Well, I'm not sure at what level. And then I
personally don't think that Israel is the staunch partner that
it was back in 2005. I'm saying staunch partner of the United
I recall during the Bush administration Dick Chaney
"Well, we'll let Israel do it for us," so that they
were inciting Israel to actually bomb Iran, with of course a
selected target, and then it would be presented as an initiative
of Israel, with Washington saying, "Well, you know, they did it
for us, but we didn't really ask them to do it."
I recall the
statements of Dick Chaney at the time.
But I don't think that
despite the anti-Iran rhetoric in Israel or by Israeli leaders
including Netanyahu, I don't think that Israel under any
circumstances would take the first step in an action against
And as far as a broader operation involving allies, I don't
think that that will occur. There is an alliance between Israel
and Saudi Arabia, which was really built by the United States,
and the United States thinks that they can have Israel and Saudi
Arabia attack Iran on their behalf.
I don't think either as a
result of the unspoken alliance between Israel and the Russia
Federation, that if there were a war on Iran, that Iran would
attack Israel. They will attack US facilities in the Persian
Gulf, that is clear - which is just across the Persian Gulf,
it's a very short distance.
Unless, of course, Israel is
directly involved in aerial bombings, which I think will not
To get back to the Pentagon agenda, right now, as I mentioned
earlier, it's very unlikely that an all-out war can be called
for, sort of a blitzkrieg similar to that of Iraq or Afghanistan
or Vietnam. That is out of the question.
But what is more likely
is a continuation of extreme sanctions as well as other actions
and the possibility of what the Pentagon calls a bloody-nose
operation, which means they will go in and bomb certain targets
in Iran, which may be the nuclear facilities.
That is certainly
on the drawing board of the Pentagon right now, but even that, I
doubt that they would... well, there are always mistakes and
there are people like Pompeo and Bolton who don't understand or
have a limited understanding of military issues.
I don't think
that that would take place because Iran would immediately start
bombing the facilities of the United States in Kuwait and the
Persian Gulf. It's practically next door and, well of course,
that would lead to escalation inevitably.
I think what we have to understand now is that mistakes often
are the determinants of history. We can't exclude the fact that
Pompeo or Bolton or Trump might say,
"Well, let's go with it and
bomb them" or select a particular target.
That's always a
possibility, because they have the decision-making powers and
they don't necessarily understand the consequences, or they
But if they submit it to the US military hierarchy
and even to intelligence personnel, I think the consensus would
be that that's a suicide operation, because you won't win that
type of war. We've seen how the US has failed in Northern Syria,
It's failed in Yemen.
I think one avenue that the US is contemplating right now is
more of a sort of support channeled to terrorist organizations
including the MEK, People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran [Mojahedin-e
Khalq], which is a terrorist entity.
That I think is something
which they're contemplating.
BF: What about the reported July 2016 attempted coup
d'état against Turkish President Erdogan? There were also
widespread reports that it was the Russian Federation that
tipped off Erdogan in time for him to flee his vacation
Assuming that this coup was real and that the US was
indeed behind it, wouldn't this event be enough to turn Erdogan
against the US and toward Russia? And why would the US have
wanted to get rid of Erdogan?
MC: Well, I think certainly that Turkish coup d'état
attempt in July 2016 pointed to a major turning point. It led to
a realignment of alliances almost immediately. We recall that
prior to that coup there was a very strained relationship
between Turkey and Russia, and the fact that Turkey was
facilitating the entry of war ships into the Black Sea.
the wake of that coup Erdogan, first of all, I think did in fact
decide to curtail Turkey's relations with the United States.
There's no doubt about that. It's been done rather gradually,
but without getting into the details of what happened, I
certainly think, yes, that was a watershed.
And President Erdogan did intimate that the United States was complicit in the
coup. He did make that statement. That was related to this
personality Fethullah Gülen, who was allegedly behind the failed
But quite as you suggest, I think that this was the
beginning of - well, we're talking about a period of
approximately three years; that was on the 15th of July, so
that's this week. So in a matter of three years the structure of
alliances has evolved.
BF: Exactly, and it's interesting that if in fact it was
Russia that tipped off Erdogan about the coup...
already shot down a Russian jet over Syria, so if Putin was
behind tipping off Erdogan, that was a pretty smart move on his
part, don't you think?
MC: I think that Putin is a very astute diplomat with a
background in intelligence. He has managed to establish good
personal relations with a number of leaders including Erdogan.
don't see Turkey, even if there's some kind of coup by the
United States, I don't see that necessarily leading to a shift
in geopolitical alliances. I mean, Turkey has been an ally of
the United States from the beginning of the Cold War, but this,
again, 2016 marks I think the beginning of a new structure of
And note there's a lot more to that. Just recently, President
Erdogan was in consultation with leaders of former Soviet
Of course, there's an agenda there in Central Asia
and then also now Turkey is a dialogue partner of the SCO, the
Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Now the Shanghai Cooperation
Organization is essentially dominated by two major countries,
China and Russia, and then you have the former Soviet republics.
But now, there are a number of countries which are either
partners or observers, and it's really evolving towards a shift
in alliances. They don't declare themselves as a military
alliance, but de facto they are.
The SCO has members from
different countries and then there are military agreements, but
they're not officially part of the SCO.
Now, Pakistan is a full member of the SCO. India is also a full
member, which means that if there are conflicts between India
and Pakistan, they have to be monitored under the auspices of
the SCO; that's one of their rules. So that again, both China
and Russia now have an inroad into South Asia.
Well, as it
stands the Modi government in India is building or renewing its
alliance with the United States, but that alliance with the
United States is very fragile, because if there's a change of
government in India it may in fact take on a different course.
And they are building a military alliance with the United States
while at the same time being a full member of the SCO.
So it's much, much broader. The structure of alliances is
collapsing. What is unfolding is new avenues of trade
investment, of course China's Belt and Road and different
alignments of many countries which are moving away from the West
and establishing or inserting themselves into this Eurasian
I think that again if Turkey withdraws from NATO
further changes will occur within the European landscape with
countries possibly withdrawing from the North Atlantic Treaty
BF: In your article, As Russian Missiles Arrive In
Turkey, Erdogan Crosses a Rubicon, you write that,
facto exit from NATO points to an historical shift in the
structure of military alliances, which could potentially
contribute to weakening US hegemony in the Middle East as well
as creating conditions which could lead to a break-up of the
North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO."
How important to the
survival of NATO is Turkey?
MC: Well, It's very important because Turkey is, after
the United States, the NATO heavyweight.
Its conventional forces
are significant even when compared to countries like Germany and
France and Britain. They have the largest conventional forces of
the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. If NATO is to be
involved in a US-led war in the Middle East, the only NATO
member state which has a foot in the Middle East is Turkey.
consequently, I'm saying again, it is very difficult for the
United States to build a cohesive alliance directed against Iran
without Turkey within the NATO structure.
If we compare NATO's posture with regard to Russia in Eastern
Europe, it's much more cohesive and the discourse is more
cohesive, but that could crack as well. Within NATO there is a
sort of a consensus but it's a propaganda initiative, in fact,
because we are persistently told that Russia is going to invade
the European Union.
People are led to believe that they have to
defend the European Union against Russian aggression. But that
discourse is far more cohesive within the European landscape
than it is within the Middle East landscape.
The US is relying
on its partners in the European Union, particularly Germany and
France, and Britain as well, but Britain is in turmoil at
present. As far as building a set of alliances with regard to
the Middle East, they are in a bind.
And they are in a bind
because Turkey is sleeping with the enemy, and members of the
Gulf Cooperation Council are also sleeping with the enemy, and
Pakistan is sleeping with the enemy.
So there we are.
BF: Did we ever have any understanding of why the United
States wanted to depose Erdogan? I never understood that.
MC: Let me go back a little bit. This goes back quite a
number of years. The United States had envisaged a redefinition
of the borders of the Middle East. It was called the New Middle
East. And they had established a map, which essentially provided
the structure of what the Middle East should look like.
I think was first published... well, it was more than ten years
ago; it was in 2006. It was a map by Lieutenant Colonel Ralph
Peters, but it was published in the Armed Forces Journal, it was
presented in the National War Academy, it was used for teaching
And apparently what happened is that this was also
used in NATO workshops of, we're talking about military
doctrine, because this map essentially carves Turkey into half.
It has Turkey and then it has a free Kurdistan and the free
Kurdistan is made up of Kurds from Iraq, Turkey, and Iran. So
they've created a new country.
The US project was ultimately to Balkanize the Middle East into
smaller countries, a bit what they did in the Balkans, so that
you had an Arab Shia state, the Sunni state, the free Kurdistan,
the Islamic Sacred State of Saudi Arabia and so on.
That map is
well known in military circles and it's been analyzed.
But essentially Turkey's resentment in relation to the United
States is that essentially they want to carve up Turkey. And
Erdogan's project is the Greater Ottoman; it's an extension of
Turkish influence beyond Turkish borders and it certainly would
not accept any carving up of the national territory of Turkey.
In fact, if you look at that map - that was the US war academy
map - they cut it in half.
So that's the background.
They were privy to the fact that there
were documents which pointed to America's intent to ultimately
carve up Turkey, in the same way as they carved Yugoslavia.
understood that at one point that that map was brought to the
consideration of members or the staff of NATO, and the Turkish
delegation to that venue walked out when they saw the map.
were absolutely, they were very offended.
BF: Michel Chossudovsky, thank you so much.
MC: Thank you. Delighted. Thank you very much.